Troubleshooting Guide: How to Fix a Vape Cartridge or Disposable Vape Pen That Isn’t Working

Vape products have revolutionized the way people consume cannabis and nicotine products, offering convenience, discretion, and an array of flavours and strains to choose from. However, as with any electronic device, vape pens may encounter issues that leave users perplexed and frustrated. If you find yourself facing a vape pen that’s not delivering as expected, don’t despair. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore a series of troubleshooting steps to help you potentially resolve the problem and get back to enjoying your vaping experience.


Check the Battery

The first step in diagnosing a non-functioning vape pen is to ensure that your vape battery is in optimal condition. A dead or malfunctioning battery can often be mistaken for a cartridge problem. 

To address this:

  1. Charge your battery: Plug it into the charger and let it charge fully. If it’s already charged, make sure it hasn’t been sitting idle for an extended period, which can cause it to lose power.
  2. Test with another battery: If your battery doesn’t seem to be the issue, try your cartridge with another compatible battery to rule out any battery-related problems.
  • Confirm the Connection

A loose connection between the cartridge and the battery can frequently lead to operational issues. It’s crucial to ensure a secure connection, but be cautious not to over-tighten. 

Here’s how to do it:

  1.  Gently twist the cartridge onto the battery, making sure it’s snug. Check for any visible gaps or wobbling, which could indicate an improper connection.


Clean the Contacts

Over time, a build-up of residue on both the battery and vape pen contacts can interfere with the flow of electricity, causing connectivity problems. 

To remedy this:

  1. Dampen a cotton swab or a small piece of cloth with a bit of isopropyl alcohol.
  2. Gently clean the contacts on both the battery and the cartridge. Make sure to allow them to dry completely before reconnecting the two components.


Adjust the Airflow

Most vape cartridges come equipped with an adjustable airflow feature. 

If you’re experiencing issues such as weak vapour production or a clogged feeling, try adjusting the airflow:

  1. Experiment with different airflow settings to find the one that suits your preferences best. Some users prefer a more open airflow for larger vapour clouds, while others prefer a tighter draw for a more cigarette-like experience.


Prime the Pen

Some vape pen require priming to ensure that e-liquid flows properly into the coil. 

Priming can help address issues like weak hits or no vapour production:

  1. Take a few dry pulls (inhale without pressing the fire button) on the vape. This can create a vacuum effect, facilitating the e-liquid’s flow into the coil.


Check for Clogs

Restricted or non-existent airflow can often be attributed to a clogged cartridge. 

To address this issue:

  1. Remove the cartridge from the battery if it allows you to.
  2. Hold the cartridge or pen upside down (with the mouthpiece down) and gently tap it to dislodge any trapped air bubbles.
  3. Using a clean, small tool like a toothpick, carefully clear any visible obstructions in the mouthpiece or airflow holes.
  4. Reattach the cartridge to the battery and attempt vaping once again.
  • Warm Up the Cartridge

You can also try blowing into the mouthpiece to try and unclog the vape. 

In colder environments, vape cartridges may become thick and sluggish, leading to difficulties in e-liquid flow. 


Warming the cartridge slightly can help:

  1. Rub the cartridge between your hands or place it in a pocket for a few minutes to raise its temperature. This can enhance the flow of e-liquid and potentially resolve performance issues.
  2. Alternatively, you can warm up the vape pen with a hair dryer or similar tools. 


Replace the Cartridge

If you’ve diligently tried all the above steps and your vape cartridge is still not working, it might be time to consider replacing it:

  1. Vape cartridges have a limited lifespan, and the coil can burn out or become clogged over time.
  2. Dispose of the old cartridge properly, adhering to local regulations regarding e-waste.



Dealing with a non-responsive vape cartridge can be frustrating, but by following this comprehensive troubleshooting guide, you can often pinpoint and resolve the issue. It’s crucial to exercise caution and adhere to safety guidelines when working with vape products. 

If all else fails or if the problem persists, don’t hesitate to reach out to the manufacturer or the retailer where you purchased the cartridge for further assistance. 

Enjoy your vaping experience responsibly and safely, knowing that you’re equipped with the knowledge to troubleshoot and potentially fix common issues that may arise.